Section 8: Nori
Word Count: 289 (1670 so far)
Disclaimer: If I owned the hobbit, it would be strange.
Summary: Oakenshield is not the only byname carried by members of Thorin's company. Some are badges of honor, some are marks of courage and some their owners just wish they could live down.
1. Kíli 4. Glóin 7. Bombur
2. Óin 5. Dwalin
3. Bifur 6. Ori
Sometimes Nori hated his titles because every time his older brother heard them, his eyes grew far too sad. For Dori saw the names as a reminder of how deeply he had failed his family, even as the other dwarf claimed these curses as a badge of pride.
He knew exactly what people thought of him and that Fingersmith and Nooseslipper were not considered compliments. But Nori was also never one to hide from the truth of his position, fallen though it may be, and so the dwarf took these names to heart. Words could not be an insult when you wore them proudly and as long as he was careful, swearing was all that his foes could do.
Though even he never told Ori what these titles meant or why people in their village would sneer them as they went by. His younger brother was in many ways an innocent and the lad would feel far too guilty if he realized how much of their survival was dependent on Nori risking his life. Because times were hard for everyone and this is why Dori looked the other way when the thief slipped off to plunder wealthy houses, never asking where their latest meal was found.
Even after their family regained its station and the dwarf began to use his talents in the service of his king, Nori never gave up the titles he had claimed. The spymaster wanted to remember the gutters that had raised him so he could never become complacent and these appellations served as a warning against his enemies.
Besides, nothing drove the pure-blooded nobles crazier than seeing Nori Nooseslipper walk among them as an equal, and even spymasters liked to have some fun.